What are they talking about?!?
Digital/HDTV Terms that Begin with P
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"Phase Alternation Line" - A signal format used in video equipment in Europe and parts of Asia. PAL signals give you 25 frames per second, and so are incompatible with NTSC, the American video signal format.
The process of transferring a movie or other source material to videocassette, DVD, or broadcast so that it fits the 4:3 aspect ratio of the NTSC system, as well as most current TVs. This results in a significant amount of lost picture information, particularly in the width of the image.
At the beginning of a movie on videocassette, you'll usually see a disclaimer about the movie having been "...formatted to fit your TV." That means it's been converted to pan-and-scan.
(Pulse Code Modulatio)
See Pulse Code Modulation.
Time relationship between signals.
There are two basic types: 1-tuner picture-in-picture models require that you connect a VCR or other video component to provide the source for your second picture. 2-tuner picture-in-picture models have two built-in TV tuners, so you can watch two shows at once using only the TV.
Pixel Term used for "picture element;" the smallest element in a television picture. The total number of pixels limits the detail that can be seen on a television. A typical television set has less than half a million pixels. The pixel count for HDTV is nearly two million.
Gas-plasma technology is one of the methods used to create flat-panel TVs. Besides enabling thin, lightweight TVs that can be hung on the wall, plasma offers other advantages. The display consists of two transparent glass panels with a thin layer of pixels sandwiched in between (think of this layer as containing around one million tiny fluorescent bulbs — the pixels). Each pixel is composed of three gas-filled cells or sub-pixels (one each for red, green and blue). A grid of tiny electrodes applies an electric current to the individual cells, causing the gas to ionize. This ionized gas (plasma) emits high-frequency UV rays which stimulate the cells' phosphors, causing them to glow, which creates the TV image.
A measure, usually in watts, of how much energy is modulated by a component.
A control and switching component that may include equalization functions. The preamp comes in the signal chain before the amplifiers.
Connectors that provide a line-level output of the internal preamp or surround processor.
Pre Outs/Main Ins
Connectors on a receiver that provide an interruptible signal loop between the output of the internal preamp or surround processor portion of the receiver and the input of the amplifier portion of the receiver.
A combination preamp and surround processor.
In progressive scanning, typically used by VGA computer monitors, all the horizontal scan lines are 'painted' on the screen at one time. Adopted DTV formats include both interlaced and progressive broadcast and display methods.
Display that projects image onto a screen.
Anything that processes an incoming signal in some way. Surround processors, for example, can decode a Dolby Digital signal to send to an amp so you can hear it.
Pulse Code Modulation (PCM)
A way to convert sound or analog information to binary information (0s and 1s) by taking samples of the sound and record the resulting number as binary information. Used on all CDs, DVD-Audio, and just about every other digital audio format. It can sometimes be found on DVD-Video.
Personal Video Recorder. Marketing term for Video HDRs or DVR.